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POV Magazine

Posted by in Doc Side, Writing

When Marc Glassman, the editor of POV magazine, asked me to join the publication as the newest contributing editor last year I was honoured. As Canada’s only source of writing on documentary culture, politics and production, the quarterly has been my go-to on all things doc for some time. Started by the Canadian Independent Film Caucus (now the Documentary Organization of Canada) in 1993 along with the Hot Docs film festival, POV delivers articles on documentary policy, production, and distribution, as well as film reviews and interviews. I recently checked…read more

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The fish farm conspiracy

Posted by in Doc Side, Environment

This is a great independent doc by a friend from British Columbia. It is absolutely shocking to see the lengths the provincial and federal governments are going to in order to not allow the dissemination of information about the role of BC fish farms in the destruction of wild salmon populations. According to the doc, wild salmon are being killed off in alarming numbers and independent studies show the diseases are linked to fish in West Coast farms, who are carrying viruses and pathogens from Norway. I’m particularly disturbed by…read more

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Hot Docs turns twenty

Posted by in Cinema, Doc Side, Festivals

Twenty years ago today, it was a year like any other. The ceremonial swap between less liberal and more liberal leader of the United States took place when Clinton picked up where Bush left off (launching a cruise missile attack on Iraq just half a year into his term and fine-tuning the ongoing regime of domestic and international deregulation for the next eight), Czechoslovakia emitted more post-Soviet fragmentation moans and became two independent states, North Korea announced its imminent withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and Canada saw the four-month…read more

Black Sea pirates at Hot Docs

Posted by in Doc Side

Svetla and I are giddy with anticipation with the thought of attending the world premiere of a new doc by our Bulgarian friends Vanya and Svetlo, THE LAST OF THE BLACK SEA PIRATES at this year’s Hot Docs. If the film is half as good as the incredible trailer above, then we’re in for a real treat. The action takes place at our favourite beach in Bulgaria, a magical sandy place where the sun always shines and where crazy characters are in abundance.

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Representing addiction in documentary cinema

Posted by in Academix, Doc Side

In just under a month on May 11th, I’ll be speaking in Vancouver at a conference about the intersection of documentary, addiction, madness and social health. I’ll be speaking about NFB and activist docs and focusing on three new conceptual frames I’m developing in my documentary research: proximal empathy, hierarchies of harm and anti-gratification. I’m honoured that the organizers tracked me down and asked me to speak, and in between writing my dissertation I’ve been busy catching up on docs that depict addiction, madness and other perceived social problems. Documentary…read more

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The animals on our screen

Posted by in Doc Side

Over the last decade of programming political documentary for Cinema Politica I can say with confidence that there are two subjects that have always been decidedly divisive and caused the most vociferous backlash from audience members. One of those subjects is the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine and the other is animal rights.

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Free International Women’s Day Films at NFB.ca

Posted by in Art Threat, Doc Side

The beaten (by the Canadian Conservative budget cuts) but not down National Film Board of Canada is offering a treasure trove of titles for free streaming today, in celebration and recognition of International Women’s Day. Included in the bunch is the 2012 experimental short by Jenn Strom, below (after the jump), called ASSEMBLY. We’re not talking about a couple of films here, we’re talking dozens of amazing documentaries. The section also features a forward by Ravida Din, Director General of English Program, who discusses the NFB’s herstory with the women’s…read more

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The Documentary Download Dilemma

Posted by in Art Threat, Doc Side

Much ink has been spilled and pixels punctuated regarding the ongoing controversial topic around the copyright, downloading, streaming and file sharing of creative content — yet there has been little discussion (outside of organizational listserves and at festival forums) of documentary cinema and file sharing. This may be in large part due to the fact that public discourse is catching up to a trend that is really less than five years old. Whereas commercial and mainstream fiction cinema has been swapped, downloaded and streamed online since file sharing’s early days, documentary has…read more

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